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A teenage girl and her young brother are stranded in the Australian outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Aborigine on "walkabout": a ritualistic banishment from his tribe
Nicolas Roeg is fast becoming one of my favorite directors. Granted, I've only digested three of his films so far, and I understand that his quality declines quite drastically later in his career (otherwise, I would have expected him to be one of the all-time greats instead of just respected yet rarely talked about), but he has yet to take a misstep in my book. Not only are the films of his I've watched commendable, they are truly excellent. From his mastery of the thriller/horror in Don't Look Now to the daring experimental sci-fi of The Man Who Fell To Earth, I've now been lucky enough to catch the beautiful, perhaps even 'Malickian' nature odyssey of Walkabout.
Walkabout, above all,…
I often talk about how I cherish the rare and unique opportunity to experience a film through pure, unbiased eyes, having never seen a trailer or a clip, with no knowledge of even a basic premise to get me started before sitting down and pressing play. Such was my approach to the 1971 Australian movie Walkabout, as I literally only knew the name of the director and the fact that it was deemed worthy of inclusion to the Criterion collection.
I wanted Nicolas Roeg to tell me a story, to paint something extraordinary with his highly regarded brush that, despite his expansive filmography, I had never witnessed in action before.
The film starts with various shots of crowded,…
Film #4 of my Journey of July Scavenger Hunt
Task #7 - A movie about hiking, walking, etc.
In what other movie will you see intercutting of full female frontal nudity and the clubbing and slaughter of a kangaroo? None other than Walkabout my friends. This is part existential journey, National Geographic show, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Picnic at Hanging Rock, anti-consumerism and destruction of the Aboriginal habitat, outback survival, Horrorporn, Soviet montage, spiritualism, cultureclash, fucking everything. This movie is so dense I couldn’t even think of where to start.
Lets just say that Australia is beautiful. Its absolutely beautiful, but I also never in my life ever, and I mean seriously never, ever want to visit. This is mostly because…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"I don't suppose it matters which way we go..."
Nicholas Roeg's 1971 film Walkabout is so dizzying in it's sheer beauty, that one tends to get just as lost in it's Australian landscape and vistas as our protagonists, and it's through Nic Roeg's innovative editing and cinematography that we witness a teenage schoolgirl and her little brother become one with the landscape, as if nature is devouring the foreign objects that enter into its realm (symbolised by their picnic food being consumed by ants).
Edward Bond's 14 page screenplay, which is loosely based on the novel 'Walkabout' by James Vance Marshall, is apparently quite a step away from the novel in it's cinematic form. Roeg infuses the film with layers…
While I haven't quite successfully fallen head-over-heels in love with any of Nicolas Roeg's individual films yet, the one thing that I have consistently loved is that he has a very creative sense of style. His unique photography and editing manage to oscillate between serenely beautiful and roughly jarring, a technical range not many filmmakers are capable of. He also consistently succeeds in pushing the boundaries of the cinematic medium, contrasting images and forcing us to draw our own conclusions from them.
This continues in Walkabout. Roeg crosscuts between the death of a kangaroo in the wild and a butcher chopping meat in his shop. He layers images on top of each other as if in a dissolve, but instead…
The near silent opening of the film contrasts the concrete hell of the city set against the wise open spaces of the Australian outback. It is not until we are in the car with the girl, her younger brother and father that we have a clear understanding of where exactly we are. The montage of scenes before that converge together in surreal motion, the power of the images alone enough to inform you of the films psychology.
Nicolas Roeg's film was seemingly lost, then resurrected in full and appears to slowly be finding an audience at last. Its themes are simple yet wonderfully effective. Roeg looks at the industrialisation of the world and the ongoing battle against nature, always waiting…
Shockingly -- given how MAN WHO FELL FROM EARTH, DON'T LOOK NOW and esp PERFORMANCE have simmered into my skull -- Nicolas Roeg's most ambitious movie has evaded me until now. WALKABOUT is all over the fuckin map, man. It's as if Eisenstein took speed, stared at the Mojave sun for a weekend and dictated his ramblings to a sex-obsessed anthropology major.
I guarantee you it does not all hang together. but that might not matter
Sergei Eisenstein would have loved this film. Heavily relying up Eisenstein's theory of montage - in particular intellectual montage - to tell its story, Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout is a film about a young boy (Luc Roeg) and a girl (Jenny Agutter) who get lost in the outback only to find an aboriginal boy (David Gulpilil) doing a "walkabout". However, beneath the surface, there is far more at work. Roger Ebert considered the film to be about the mystery of communication, while dismissing the "parable about noble savages and the crushed spirits of city dwellers" as being just a surface reading of the film. While he may be right that it is on the surface, he did miss what I feel…
Beautifully made film, interesting concept, wish it would have spoken to me more on a deeper level being one of those films that that takes you on a cinematic journey, but I feel if I ever see it on a big screen, it will have a more profound effect. Very original, never seen anything like it before. This was my first Roeg movie, interested to see his others now.
There were some beautiful moments within this film, especially the expansive shots of the Australian outback and the varied wildlife within it. However, I feel as though Roeg fell short of the mark and instead of being a commentary on sexual awakening and being away from city life, it was uncomfortable and a bit self indulgent.
I didn't particularly connect with any of the characters and there was very little plot to connect with either. Overlaying the shot of the female lead swimming naked with the shot of a kangaroo being beaten to death just made me feel highly uncomfortable and I found myself wanting the film to be over. I'd recommend some of his other films but definitely not this one unfortunately.
'You don't want people thinking we're a couple of tramps' 'What people?'
Watching Nicolas Roeg's classic 'Walkabout', one of the best films ever made in or about Australia. Though rightly famous for its unusual editing, Roeg's background as a cinematographer shouldn't be overlooked: the images are both striking and evocative. With Jenny Agutter and David Gulpilil, and a score by John Barry.
A quiet, mesmerizing film. I first saw it (and completely failed to understand it) one afternoon when I was about 11. I don't think I ever knew the title. I rediscovered it about 25 years later. It's the first directorial effort of Nicholas Roeg (he was asst cinematographer on both Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia), who would go on to lens the very underrated 1974 suspense film Don't Look Now!
With a forgotten but exemplary score by John Barry, Walkabout is a serene and sometimes surreal film with almost no dialogue as its two main characters (a 16 year old girl and her young brother) wander the Australian outback, hopelessly lost. They meet a young aboriginal boy on his coming-of-age walkabout and he saves them from certain death. Their furtive, grasping attempts at communication underscore the isolation native in us all.
This is one of my all-time favorite navel-gazing films.
It is very difficult for me to come to terms with Nicolas Roeg’s early films. His 1970s work were part of my teenage response to and growing love of cinema: when I was trying to figure out what it was that directors did, Roeg seemed to supply an answer: there could be no doubt that he was doing something – and what he was doing, the cutting and sparkling cinematography, took my breath away. Now I’m far from sure and, of his first 5 features, Walkabout, with its narrative simplicity, exposes his weaknesses...or what I know take to be his weaknesses. Walkabout has a straightforward and effective story: a father takes his two children to the Australian outback; suddenly he…
Two movies into his filmography, and I'm still not quite on director Nicolas Roeg's wavelength, in that many people seem to think his movies are the best things every whereas I've just been merely coolly impressed. As with Don't Look Now (the other one I've seen), Walkabout teeters on the edge of full-on experimental film with tons of unconventional freeze-frames, cross-cutting, and symbolic imagery. This time, however, its relatively conventional story--girl and her brother must survive in the Australian wilderness--pulls it back from that precipice a few paces, and by the end of the movie, we're in comfortable enough filmmaking territory that Roeg sees fit to include a poem in voiceover over the film's final shots. An engaging, striking movie if not one to go straight to the record books.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…